There’s a Raptor on the horizon
The first Ranger Raptor from Ford was recently introduced in Thailand with a flourish. Ford indicated at the end of 2017 that the vehicle will also be built locally, thanks to a huge investment of R3-billion at the company’s plant near Pretoria. The expected rollout of the vehicle in South Africa is planned for 2019 when local production starts.
The first Ranger Raptor, Ford’s new offroad, performance pick-up truck, was recently introduced with a flourish at a reveal event in Thailand. The ultimate Ranger vehicle is built and tested to set a new benchmark across the Asia Pacific region. Designed by the Ford performance team for the true enthusiast offroader, Ford Ranger Raptor strengthens Ford’s commitment to deliver “Built Ford Tough” pickup trucks to customers.
South Africans need not have any FOMO (fear of missing out), as Ford indicated at the end of 2017 that the vehicle will also be built locally after a significant investment of R3-billion at the company’s plant in Silverton near Pretoria.
The expected introduction for the vehicle in South Africa is planned for 2019 when local production is due to start.
BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL
The Ranger Raptor features distinctive design cues inside and out that are functional driven. At the front, a stunning new grille reminds one of the first high performance off-road truck, the F-150 Raptor. A frame-mounted front bumper system is designed to offer desert durability performance and the front bumper includes new LED fog lamps with functional air-curtain ducts, which help to reduce the air resistance of the body.
Made of composite materials, the front fenders not only look tough, but will resist the dents and dings often associated with off-road usage. The flared shape of the fenders is required for the long travel suspension and oversized tyres.
The exterior colour on offer will include Lightning Blue, Race Red, Shadow Black, Frozen White, as well as a special Conquer Grey. Contrasting Dyno Grey accents will help to accentuate the vehicle’s look even further.
The vehicle stance is impressive at 1 873mm high, 2 180mm wide and 5 398mm long, also with wider front and rear tracks at 1 710mm. Ground clearance is increased to 283mm, while the approach angle of 32,5°, ramp-over angle of 24° and departure angle of 24° are superior to competitors.
The step boards were designed to prevent rock spray from hitting the rear of the truck and the holes have been designed to drain sand, mud and snow. The tough high-strength aluminium alloy die-cast main step board is designed for durability, undergoing testing which includes a load of 100kg being applied 84 000 times to simulate more than 10 years of use.
At the rear, a modified bumper has an integrated tow bar and two recovery hooks rated at 3,8 tonnes. Providing lots of space, the 1 560mm x 1 743mm tray has been designed with the weekend explorer in mind, while the 2 500kg towing capacity will make easy meat of dirt bikes or jet-skis, as well as traditional work during the week.
Inside, Ranger Raptor offers a tailored interior design with a high level of craftsmanship, harmonious colours and durable materials suitable for both off-road driving and everyday use. The seats are designed for off-road and high speed support. The use of technical suede on the seats shows the practicality of the material choice.
Multiple long-distance drives gauged how the seats performed, both on highways and off-road tracks. The dual hardness cushion structure provides good lateral support.
Ranger Raptor drivers will notice meticulous detail in the cockpit, including blue stitching and leather accents with a host of driver assist features.
The steering wheel has new lightweight magnesium paddle shifters for crisp gear changing, easily accessible near the perforated leather hand grip sections on the rim.
Two recovery hooks rated at 4,5 tonnes can be found at the front, plus reinforced spare tyre mounting cross-members for the larger 17” rims.
The braking system offers extreme stopping power through new and bespoke components. At the front, twin-piston callipers have been increased by 9,5mm in diameter, while the ventilated rotors are 332 x 32mm. At the rear are disc brakes with a brake actuation master cylinder and booster to increase braking performance. The 332mm x 24mm rear rotor is ventilated and coupled with a new 54mm calliper.
Ranger Raptor also comes with unique underbody protection to deflect off-road obstacles. The new bash plate is made from 2,3mm thick high-strength steel. The silver finished guard allows access to the dual front recovery hooks. Working with the existing engine and transfer case under shields, the three elements provide protection to components such as the radiator, electric power assisted steering (EPAS), front end accessory drive (FEAD), front cross-member, engine sump and front differential.
Ranger Raptor comes with a terrain management system (TMS) offering six modes for various driving experiences, which can be selected via a switch on the steering wheel. Each mode has been calibrated to offer the best combination of technology to tackle the chosen terrain or driving style with aplomb. These include on-road modes to choose between normal and sport driving and off-road modes with four different applications, depending on the surface encountered.
The powertrain features offer more power and torque, better fuel economy, less weight and off-road specific calibrations for engine, transmission, driveline, steering, brakes and electronic stability control (ESC) system.
A 10-speed transmission is combined with a new 2,0-litre, bi-turbo diesel engine to deliver a maximum of 157kW of power and 500Nm of torque.
Working as a team, the smaller, high-pressure (HP) turbo is connected in a sequence to the larger, LP turbo and is controlled with by-pass valves that determine the operating mode depending on engine speed. At lower engine speeds, the two turbos work in series, enhancing torque and responsiveness, while at higher engine speeds, the small HP turbo is bypassed and the higher LP turbo provides boost to deliver more power.
Ranger Raptor offers a host of advanced driver assist technology (DAT) that are cutting edge and practical for everyday use, available at the push of a button.
Leading the way in connectivity, SYNCÒ 3 is a fully integrated voice activation system that lets drivers use their favourite devices while hands stay on the wheel and eyes on the road. The satellite navigation system comes into its own when off-roading in remote areas, even offering a “breadcrumb” feature to leave a trail when entering uncharted areas, which is perfect for the serious off-roader.
High levels of active and passive safety have been included, such as the improved Ford Stability Control incorporating roll mitigation function.
Ford’s comprehensive electronic stability control (ESC) system will help in difficult cornering and braking situations. Other features include trailer sway control (TSC), hill start assist (HSA), hill descent control (HDC) and load adaptive control (LAC).
The rear view camera displayed on the 8” colour LCD screen is matched with the rear parking sensors to give drivers the utmost parking confidence.
Intelligent access (passive entry) allows the owner to unlock, lock and start the vehicle without reaching for the keys. Using a radio frequency signal, the key fob allows the owner to start the vehicle with the press of a button and is able to activate central locking for the doors and the tailgate. A mechanical key blade is incorporated into the fob design to use in the event of a depleted battery.
More details on price, specifications and warranty will be made available closer to the South African launch.